Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Passionate pannist for August concert


DEVOTED: Richarde’ Bereaux

Mark Fraser

He was dubbed “A Trinidad and Tobago Steel Pan virtuoso” at age 15 by adjudicator Dr Jessel Murray.

Richarde’ Bereaux found his passion at age six, when he began experimenting on the national instrument, the steelpan.

He convinced his parents to get him enrolled at Dixieland Pan Academy, where he was tutored by Curtis Pierre.

He then moved to the San Fernando-based Golden Hands Steel Orchestra, where he remained for 12 years.

Bereaux was crowned the under-16 Pan Trinbago National Junior Soloist Champion in 2005. And over the years he received 24 trophies at the biennial Trinidad and Tobago National Music Festival.

In 2004, 2006 and 2008, he took the title for the Under-19 champion at three consecutive music festivals.

In 2008, he was named the Most Outstanding Pannist of the Music Festival.

The devoted musician pursued a BA in Musical Arts at the University of the West Indies and received a scholarship from the Music Literacy Trust of Trinidad and Tobago for outstanding skill on the national instrument.

Throughout his musical journey, Bereaux has touched the shores of many countries, spreading his talent.

In 2008, he represented Trinidad and Tobago in Texas, USA, performing with the UWI Percussion Ensemble and Golden Hands Steel Orchestra at PASIC (Percussive Arts International Convention) as the first steel band to perform for the show doing a production of original compositions.

Bereaux’s dream, however, was to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In March 2012, Bereaux auditioned for Berklee College and received a partial scholarship. He began his degree in Professional Music the same year.

“In Boston it is very multi-cultural in terms of number of countries represented. The experience in terms of being in school has broadened my perspectives and outlook on how to express myself as a person. It has given me an advantage because they push you so hard to achieve,” he said.

In 2013, Bereaux formed his own band, The Lutionaires, a title derived from the word revolutionaries, with a vision to change and reach the hearts of men and women globally.

Bereaux, now 25, is in his sixth semester at Berklee College.

“I am one of two steelpan principles in the college. I am at the point where I am working on an electronic press kit which will be an album and videos that would be released next year after Carnival,” he said.

Bereaux has returned to Trinidad to host the second of his annual concerts in August.

“Last year was a struggle in terms of getting things done, but this time things flowed a lot smoother because people actually recognise what we are doing. It is young people under 25, very professional on instruments. I have a group from Barbados coming in for the show,” he said.

Bereaux hosted his first concert last year. And he was selected to perform at the 2013 Independence Day awards at Southern Academy for Performing Arts (SAPA).

“I was pleased that the President (Anthony Carmona) recognised my talent. He is very supportive of culture and I think we need people who can think like this because it will help with the crime situation, it will help with everything that is taking place,” he said.

Bereaux said he was not focused solely on steelpan, as he was also pursuing drums, song writing and arranging.

“The direction I am heading into is more along the lines of a recording artiste and performer.”

Bereaux’s concert will be held at Sundar Popo Theatre at the National Academy for the Performing Arts south campus in San Fernando on August 10. His goal is to raise funds for his studies abroad.

Tickets are priced at $150 and can be purchased by contacting 653-7748.

He is also preparing for two concerts in Boston later this year.